Urban Transport

Crowdfunding push for EZ-EV open source electric kit car

Builder of the ZW2C electric trike (shown) Gary Krysztopik is preparing to release the EZ-EV car as open source plans, build-it-yourself kits and complete vehicles
Builder of the ZW2C electric trike (shown) Gary Krysztopik is preparing to release the EZ-EV car as open source plans, build-it-yourself kits and complete vehicles
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Described as a battery box on wheels, Gary Krysztopik's ZW2C electric trike is little more than a long battery box containing 24 deep cycle lead-acid batteries
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Described as a battery box on wheels, Gary Krysztopik's ZW2C electric trike is little more than a long battery box containing 24 deep cycle lead-acid batteries
Builder of the ZW2C electric trike (shown) Gary Krysztopik is preparing to release the EZ-EV car as open source plans, build-it-yourself kits and complete vehicles
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Builder of the ZW2C electric trike (shown) Gary Krysztopik is preparing to release the EZ-EV car as open source plans, build-it-yourself kits and complete vehicles
Gary Krysztopik has been driving his huge electric trike on the roads and highways of San Antonio (TX) for over three years now
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Gary Krysztopik has been driving his huge electric trike on the roads and highways of San Antonio (TX) for over three years now
The original Z Wheelz 2-seat Custom features a MES-DEA 200-250 AC induction electric motor driving a belt to the rear wheel and a built-in computer with GPS functionality that displays system status information
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The original Z Wheelz 2-seat Custom features a MES-DEA 200-250 AC induction electric motor driving a belt to the rear wheel and a built-in computer with GPS functionality that displays system status information
The idea for the ZW2C was to get away from the golf cart image of urban electric vehicles
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The idea for the ZW2C was to get away from the golf cart image of urban electric vehicles
The ZW2C has a Honda Fit windshield, a shifter for park/reverse/drive/economy mode, a parking brake, and a composite rear fender
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The ZW2C has a Honda Fit windshield, a shifter for park/reverse/drive/economy mode, a parking brake, and a composite rear fender
The ZW2C has a maximum range of 100 miles and is capable of speeds of over 60 mph
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The ZW2C has a maximum range of 100 miles and is capable of speeds of over 60 mph
Gary Krysztopik has spent the last few years refining and tweaking the design for his "battery box on wheels" to create a vehicle that can be assembled by one person in a garage with standard tools in just one week
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Gary Krysztopik has spent the last few years refining and tweaking the design for his "battery box on wheels" to create a vehicle that can be assembled by one person in a garage with standard tools in just one week
Gary Krysztopik's new design retains the central battery box but the frame of the two-seater EZ-EV is to be made from advanced honeycombed composites (fiber glass) instead of steel
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Gary Krysztopik's new design retains the central battery box but the frame of the two-seater EZ-EV is to be made from advanced honeycombed composites (fiber glass) instead of steel
The EZ-EV electric trike will be a full-size, highway-capable two-seater
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The EZ-EV electric trike will be a full-size, highway-capable two-seater
Precision machined components fit together to form the center bulkhead
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Precision machined components fit together to form the center bulkhead
The 32 kWh battery pack will consist of 96 lithium batteries and the vehicle will have power steering, disc brakes and modern suspension
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The 32 kWh battery pack will consist of 96 lithium batteries and the vehicle will have power steering, disc brakes and modern suspension
The frame of the EZ-EV will be made from advanced honeycombed composites
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The frame of the EZ-EV will be made from advanced honeycombed composites
CAD drawing showing the batteries in place, and the position of the center bulkhead
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CAD drawing showing the batteries in place, and the position of the center bulkhead
CNC-machined components fit together to make more complex sub-assemblies, such as the center bulkhead
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CNC-machined components fit together to make more complex sub-assemblies, such as the center bulkhead
The necessary components for quarter-scale models will be produced using a combination of 3D printing and a desktop CNC machine
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The necessary components for quarter-scale models will be produced using a combination of 3D printing and a desktop CNC machine

Electrical engineer Gary Krysztopik has been driving his self-built, open-framed, three-wheeled electric "hotrod" on the roads and highways of San Antonio (TX) for over three years now, but folks still can't help staring as he zooms past. While also working on gas-to-electric conversions (including a VW Bug and a Porsche Carrera), he's been busy refining and tweaking the design for his "battery box on wheels" and is now preparing to release the EZ-EV car as open source plans, build-it-yourself kits and complete vehicles.

The original Z Wheelz 2-seat Custom (ZW2C) has a bottom frame that's little more than a long battery box containing 24 deep cycle lead-acid batteries, and features a MES-DEA 200-250 AC induction electric motor driving a belt to the rear wheel and a built-in computer with GPS functionality that displays system status information. There's a roll cage with a Honda Fit windshield, a shifter for park/reverse/drive/economy mode, a parking brake, and a composite rear fender. It has a maximum range of 100 miles (160 km) and is capable of speeds of over 60 mph (96 km/h).

ZW2C promo

Krysztopik's new design retains the central battery box but the frame of the two-seater EZ-EV is to be made from advanced honeycombed composites (fiber glass) instead of steel. The 32 kWh battery pack will consist of 96 lithium batteries and the vehicle will have power steering, disc brakes and modern suspension. There won't be any of the modern conveniences that most of us take for granted but the design could be modified to include a variety of comfort options.

CNC-machined components fit together to make more complex sub-assemblies, such as the center bulkhead
CNC-machined components fit together to make more complex sub-assemblies, such as the center bulkhead

Fully assembled vehicles will be made available, but the main goal of the EZ-EV project is to make the 1,500 pound (680 kg) street-legal, highway-capable vehicle available as a kit that can be assembled by one person in a garage with standard tools in just one week. Open source plans and a parts list will also be released for those who want to build an EZ-EV from scratch.

"The idea is to maximize off the shelf parts so someone can just buy a frame with a parts list and order everything else to bolt on," Krysztopik told Gizmag. "The Mustang II front end kits are common and come complete with brakes, steering and suspension. The seats just bolt down to the floor/battery box cover. All of the motors are cylinders with a shaft coming out, and all controllers are boxes that are bolted down to the floor. This stuff is so simple and modular, which is what makes this work so well."

According to Krysztopik, the finished EZ-EV can then be registered as a motorcycle in most states (but advises checking local laws before jumping in). He expects the vehicle to easily manage over 80 mph (128 km/h), with a range of up to 150 miles (241 km) per charge (depending on the battery/motor configuration chosen by the buyer).

The necessary components for quarter-scale models will be produced using a combination of 3D printing and a desktop CNC machine
The necessary components for quarter-scale models will be produced using a combination of 3D printing and a desktop CNC machine

Enclosed bodies are also in the works for those who would rather be surrounded by an outer shell, similar to the body mold for the Freedom Car by Jerry Dycus. The long-term aim is to have pop-on body panels that can be 3D-printed.

To help turn his electric dream into a reality, Krysztopik has hit the campaign pages of the Indiegogo crowd-funding platform. For US$1,000 backers can receive a quarter-scale EZ-EV model, $7,500 will secure a full-size frame and $10,000 will get you a rolling chassis kit. Lower reward levels are available for those who want to support the project.

"I can get this vehicle on the road in as little as six months, and I want to make quarter-scale kits like the Lego Mindstorm kits for education programs," he said. "They can build and race the scale models and then get a ride in the full size version. I'm really excited about how this can work as an educational program that is so closely tied to growing clean tech businesses."

ZW IndieGoGo 1 3

Source: EZ-EV, Indiegogo page

22 comments
Bob Ehresman
I really dont know how I would feel about being that close to so much battery acid.
MD
But hey what a crumple zone.... (The acid type...) 32 kWh Lithium battery: This size batterypack is larger than what is used in most factory EV's, with the associated cost..... Electric power is a great Idea, but..... charging inefficiencies, weight, battery initial and replacement cost ($155 for each battery x 96 = $14 k) Remembering that for such a small vehicle 14 grand would keep you in fuel for quite a few years (probably longer than the Lithium packs will last). (Hoping that at least 5L/100km is possible, that will get you around 200 000 km) Still Electric performance is hard to beat, with a decent torquey motor, and adequate gearing.... We all want the holy grail: equivalent energy density, cheap quick recharge and low cost.... (Petrol equivalent energy density with electric power-train efficiency. Dream on...
VoiceofReason
The idea is relatively sound. What I would do is to make it a true hybrid. A diesel electric might be able to push that well past 100mpg, if used properly. You use the motor to charge the batteries and to run at speed past a certain point. How much hp can this really take to keep at 65mph?
Slowburn
The battery pack is on the wrong side of the front axle.
Charles Hoss
why work with that ugly plastic shell ? put it in a zhenhua trike roadster chassis and make it hybrid . http://i00.i.aliimg.com/photo/v1/681316858/ZHENHUA_TRIKE_ROADSTER_2013.jpg
garyO
I agree with Slowburn, the centre of gravity is much too far forward. But, that said, I hope this can be made to work. I'm sure something like this is the way forward. What would really focus peoples attention would be if fuel taxes were increased, more in line with the rest of the developed world.
C.A.Miller
@Slowburn, the battery pack seems to extend all the way from the front under the seats and wraps up behind the seats. Extending the frame to be ahead of the front third of the batteries would increase weight and having to support the weight of all the batteries over the longer span would likely require a heaver gauge steel increasing the weight even more.
billybob1851
anything that gets us closer to no petrol, i like...
Element6
I like the idea of honeycomb construction but the way he wants to go about it will not provide adequate strength. This should be done with a mold, honeycomb cut and shaped to fit and prepreg composite materials under vacuume w/solid hard points where nessesary. stronger, lighter and with a much higher sructural integrity than bonded honeycomb pannels. Good luck to you!
solutions4circuits
Guys...the point of Open Source is modifications that are subsequently shared. Want a hybrid? Get off the recliner, go build it, then share it. But it's easier to say "would be nice if he woulda x"